Re: Ascension – A Community Development

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Kate Quinn
Downtown Hong Kong
The Invasion

I was so excited when I first arrived in Hong Kong
I couldn’t believe it, I was actually here. I’d been saving up for aaaages to afford to come over here. And I had to sit on that plane for hours and hours just to get here. I hate airline food.
Yeah, so, plan was to hang around this part of the city for a few days, do some shopping, see the sights, then on Wednesday I’d move on to Beijing and do all of the touristy stuff in that part of China, the Forbidden City, Giant Pandas in Beijing Zoo, the Great Wall, all that sort of stuff. That worked out well.
I’ll start at the top. I’d just got to my hotel and unpacked all my clothes and I wanted a coffee. Unfortunately, the hotel had supplied those horrible little packets of coffee that taste like cardboard and I hadn’t had a chance to go get some decent coffee yet. Luckily, I had noticed what looked like a Starbucks in the cab on the way here. It wasn’t that far, so I thought I’d walk. Good exercise. So I picked up my Cantonese to English phrase book (I’m rubbish at learning new languages) and went for a stroll.
It didn’t take me long to find what I was looking for. It wasn’t exactly a Starbucks, but it was a coffee shop and it had a surprisingly similar logo. Must be one of those Chinese rip offs I thought to my self as I walked in.
The shop wasn’t all that busy, there weren’t many people in there and there was only one guy behind the counter. He was around my age, dark hair and a small wispy beard. He smiled at me as I walked up to the counter.
“[Cappuccino please,]” I said in my best (i.e. rubbish) Chinese.
“Coming up,” he said (in English) with a smile, as he turned to the coffee machines.
I smiled weakly back at him, embarrassed at my feeble attempt to speak another language, before turning around to look out of the window.
It was very busy outside. Hong Kong had that same hustle and bustle that you got from big cities like New York, the feeling that everyone was busy. It reminded me of home. I allowed my mind to wander, thinking of what I was going to do over the next few weeks, not noticing the barista, as he slipped a small vial of something out of his pocket and poured it in my drink.
“Your coffee Miss.”
The baristas voice snapped me out of my daydream. I quickly turned around, almost knocking the coffee over in the process.
“That is 56HK$” He said, again with a smile.
I pulled out some money from my purse, I’m not sure how much 56HK$ would get me back home, but I’m sure it’d get me a bit more than one coffee. Once again he smiled at me as he put my money in the till and I took a sip of the coffee.
Just then a tremor hit, causing me to choke as half of the hot coffee poured down my throat. I heard the tinkle of my change being dropped as the barista grabbed the counter. The lights above us were shaking and rattling, flickering on and off and the cups on the shelf being the counter clattered and clanked as they danced up and down the shelves.
Then, just as suddenly as it had started, the tremor stopped. The barista sprang up and ran across to the door as I tried to steady my self, coughing from the forced ingestion of boiling coffee.
“What was that, an earthquake?” I asked as the barista looked up and down the street from the doorway.
“No,” he said seriously. “They are here.”
“Who is…..”
I didn’t get a chance to finish the question before a second tremor shook the shop. But this time it was different. Out of the windows I could see these huge triangular shapes appear in the sky, and people started running down the street, screaming, all coming from the direction of the huge sky triangles. Soon I saw why. In amongst the crowd there were these people, only they were not people. They looked like they had just appeared from a sci-fi movie. Bits of them were metal and they all walked in a very regimented fashion. They were shooting at people with these orange lasers, and random members of the crowd were just falling down as they were hit. I could move, I was so terrified. The next thing I know the barista had grabbed me and was dragging me bodily towards the staff area and the back exit.
“Come on, we have to get out of here,” He said as we turned and ran.
I could still hear the screaming ringing in my ears as we raced through the back door and into a small corridor in the back of the shop.
“Wong Li An.” A grating metallic voice hit my ears and I felt shiver run down my spine. I looked over to my left, in the direction of the voice, and there they were. Cyborgs. They looked even scarier up close. The metal parts seemed to be bolted on, but the joins weren’t neat. There were twisted lumps of flesh all around the implants, as if they had had chunks taken off and replaced with the metal. The cyborg who had spoken stepped towards us and the barista pushed me behind him. I could hear the sound of the cyborgs breaking the window in the shop, we were surrounded. We were finished. We were going to die. I felt sick, my whole body was shaking and my hands felt numb.
“Wong Li An” The cyborg spoke again. “You are in possession of MT-VS7. You are a threat to the Ascension and you must be eliminated.”
The cyborgs raised their guns. The corridor was filled with an orange light. I screamed as the door burst open and the cyborgs swarmed in from the shop.
Then, it happened.